Come along as I dive headfirst into the coming weekend of fights that include names like Dave “Pee Wee” Herman, Lyle Beerbohm, Ricardo Arona, Jeff Monson, Don Frye, Murilo “Ninja” Rua and many more.
American Steel Cagefighting II – Friday, September 11 – Salem, New Hampshire
Calvin Kattar vs. Andrew Montanez: At just twenty-one years of age Calvin Kattar is definitely a lightweight prospect to keep an eye on in the future. Having been referenced in the past as MMA’s answer to boxing’s Mickey Ward in the past, the 6-1 up and comer took the Chris Horodecki approach to MMA, getting his professional start in the business well before his twenties.
Montanez is a tough dude, but he should be easy pickings for Kattar. Expect an early submission or TKO for Kattar in this bout, but more importantly, remember the name and don’t forget that I told you so when he makes the move to the big leagues within the next year.
Arena Rumble – Saturday, September 12 – Spokane, Washington
Jason Guida vs. Jeremy Horn: Gumby is one of the toughest guys walking the face of the earth at the moment. The guy has 105 recorded fights….. that’s fights on record. I’d imagine his true record rests near the 150 mark. Three consecutive losses in his last stint with the UFC make a return to the promotion anytime really soon improbable, but with a recent first round submission victory at Adrenaline III it seems like Horn would be just a win or two away from linking up with an organization such as Strikeforce, Dream or Sengoku.
Jason Guida would be a lot more effective if he made the appropriate cut down to the 185 pound division but his disastrous appearance as a light-heavyweight on The Ultimate Fighter lets you know that will never be a realistic possibility.
I’d be really surprised if this one gets out of the first due to the enormous differential in skill level, but barring injury there’s no way Horn doesn’t leave with the victory. Make it five losses in a row for Guida following Saturday evening.
Lyle Beerbohm vs. Josh Martin: Don’t get me wrong, Horn is a legend, but for me the real story of this card is without a doubt lightweight prospect Lyle Beerbohm. At 12-0 Beerbohm is the brightest prospect in the business at 155 pounds in my opinion. He currently holds stoppage victories over UFC veteran Gerald Strebendt, newly signed UFC lightweight Rafaello Oliveira , and most recently, the extremely dangerous Duane “Bang” Ludwig.
The scariest thing about Lyle is the fact that he’s only been out of prison and training in the sport for just over two years. To have that kind of success in that short amount of time is remarkable. It’s the exact type of thing that anyone experienced in scouting talent in mixed martial arts gives a tremendous amount of weight. Out of twelve victims, only one has managed to make it to the final bell with Beerbohm. Lyle finished every single one of his amateur bouts. How this guy continues to fly under the radar with a lot of fans is beyond me.
His opponent, Josh Martin, is a strong wrestler and a very tough opponent. Should be a fun fight to watch but there’s not a doubt in my mind that Beerbohm improves upon his undefeated record when this one is all said and done.
Bitetti Combat Nordeste – Saturday, September 12 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ricardo Arona vs. Marvin Eastman: Now this is a fantastic card. If Bitetti Combat can continue to put together match-ups like these they will quickly become a major force in the international MMA scene.
It’s gong to be really interesting to finally see Arona return to action. His smothering style has long made him one of my least favorite fighters to watch, but there’s no question that in proper form Arona should be considered among the top competitors in the light-heavyweight division. If Arona looks good in victory over a guy like Marvin Eastman I’d be shocked if he wasn’t immediately signed to a multi-fight contract with either the UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM or Sengoku.
While I’m sure that there are quite a few fans that would love to see Arona fight on American soil in the near future, I personally find that possibility far more unlikely as opposed to him fighting in Japan. Arona has spent his entire career fighting in Japan up until this point, and I have to believe there must be a good reason for that.
Eastman’s always fun to watch, but theoretically he should be out-matched in this one. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see which Arona shows up.
Paulo Filho vs. Alex Schoenauer: A close friend to Arona, and another guy I find it very unlikely to be returning to America anytime soon for all of the same reasons that may prevent Ricardo.
Although he was being battered in the early moments of his recent submission victory over Melvin Manhoef, Filho did appear to have returned to his old dominant form to some degree in that bout in contrast to his previous bouts against Chael Sonnen that were held stateside. I fully expect a revitalized and powerful Filho to show up in this fight.
Schoenauer is a much better fighter than his 13-9 record would indicate. He’s made a career in the business competing against some of the toughest fighters he could compete against.
When Filho is on he’s a hard guy to beat. I expect his wrestling and submission arsenal to make the ultimate difference in this one.
Pedro Rizzo vs. Jeff Monson: Another great match-up. At first glance my gut tells me Monson wins this fight, and wins it easy. I’m fully aware that they faced off before and it ended with Monson being TKO’d in brutal fashion, but in my opinion “The Snowman” is the far more improved fighter since the two last met. However, styles make fights.
The main thing that jumps out at me in this one is this: Sure, Rizzo’s lost eight of his last thirteen while Monson has won his last seven, but Jeff has been submitting guys and Rizzo doesn’t submit. It just doesn’t happen. If you’re going to beat Rizzo, the formula is there, you just have to have the striking skills necessary to get it done. I don’t think Monson does. While a decision victory for the decorated grappler isn’t out of the question, I feel like it will be his best chance to obtain victory.
Murilo Rua vs. Alex Stiebling: Coming off of back to back wars against Benji Radach and Riki Fukuda, Ninja is going to have another battle on his hands with Steibling. Despite suffering losses in his previous two outings, I feel like we have seen the sharpest Ninja ever in his last two performances despite up on the short end of the stick in both bouts. It happens.
With that being said, anyone familiar with Steibling will tell you that the guys an absolute animal. Extremely slick ground game and punishing stand-up arsenal, Alex has been in there with the best of them during his nearly ten years spent in the sport. This fight just screams “Fight of the Night” to me.
Shark Fights – Saturday, September 12 – Amarillo, Texas
Dave Herman vs. Don Frye: I love Don to death, but I don’t know who convinced him to take this fight. They say the last thing to go with a fighter is their punch, and I firmly believe this to be true. In that respect Frye has a legitimate chance in this one. A very, very slim legitimate chance. A punchers chance to be specific. That’s not a good place to be in the cage. Anytime someone say that the a fighter has a “punchers chance”, bet money on the other guy. Trust me.
Herman is just too young, athletic and powerful for Don. It’s not going to be pretty, but it should be fun to watch.
(Pictured: Lyle Beerbohm)